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NBA Summer League: The best rookies to keep an eye on

The 2024 NBA Draft is over and the awarding of prizes is almost complete. The next thing NBA fans can look forward to is the Summer League. There are three different summer leagues. The first is the California Classic Summer League, which takes place from July 6th to July 10th. After that comes the Salt Lake City Summer League, which takes place from July 8th to July 10th. And finally, there is the biggest, the NBA 2k25 Summer League 2024, which takes place from July 12th to July 22nd in Las Vegas.

With the summer league comes the debuts of NBA rookies in the league. The 2024 draft class was considered one of the weakest draft classes in recent times and they will get the chance to prove people wrong starting this summer. Even though the draft class is considered weak, many interesting candidates were drafted. Today we take a look at the top ten rookies you should watch this summer. Before we get to the list, here are some players you should also look at: Ron Holland II, Tidjane Sala√ľn, Donovan Clingan, Dalton Knecht, Kyshawn George and Cody Williams.

NBA Summer League: The best rookies to keep an eye on

1. Zaccharie Risacher, Atlanta Hawks

First on the list is Zaccharie Risacher, who was selected No. 1. When you are No. 1, all eyes will be on you. At 6'10″, Risacher is the perfect wing player that NBA teams love to have. He is projected as a 3-and-D winger in the NBA. He has all the tools to be an All-Star in the NBA and he will have to prove that starting in Summer League. Risacher is a player to keep an eye on to see if he lives up to the hype of being selected No. 1 or if he struggles under the pressure that comes with being the first pick.

2. Alex Sarr, Washington Wizards

Alex Sarr was the projected number one pick in the draft and ended up going second. He is a versatile big player with great athleticism and potential as a long-range shooter. He will also be relied upon on the defensive side of the ball as he can defend multiple positions and be a team's shooter. Sarr may be under pressure early on because of his slender frame. However, if he fills that role, he will be one of the better young bigs in the NBA. Despite being selected number two, he has the highest potential of any player in this class. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards use him at the fourth or fifth position in the summer league.

3. Reed Sheppard, Houston Rockets

Reed Sheppard is the best shooter in this class, shooting a remarkable 52.1% from the three-point line last year at Kentucky. Every team is always looking for shooting reinforcements, and Sheppard will make an immediate impact in that regard. Not only can he make excellent three-point shots, but he can also score from all three levels. He won't be an unmatched defender in the NBA, but he will make plays here and there on that side of the ball. The Rockets were only 23rd in three-point percentage last year, and signing Sheppard will improve that. Everyone loves shooters, and he's looking to shine in summer league this year.

4. Stephen Castle, San Antonio Spurs

Stephone Castle is the best perimeter defender in this class. Last year at UConn, he was asked to defend the opposing team's best player every night. At 6'6″, he has a great frame for an NBA-level defensive defender. Add to that a 6'1″ wingspan. That will help him defend multiple positions in the NBA. He will be a good defensive duo with Victor Wembanyama for the next decade. To reach his full potential, he will need to improve his three-point shooting. Regardless, he is the best player to keep an eye on in the summer league if you like to see great defense.

5. Rob Dillingham, Minnesota Timberwolves

Rob Dillingham was the biggest surprise on draft night. The Spurs drafted him eighth overall and then traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Dillingham is one of the more interesting prospects with his raw potential. He has great game sense and passing skills. He can also score the ball and averaged 15.2 points at Kentucky. He won't have an immediate impact with the Timberwolves, but the opportunity to learn from Mike Conley will definitely help his development. This was a great move by the Timberwolves and someone to keep an eye on this summer.

6. Zach Edey, Memphis Grizzlies

Zach Edey dominated the college basketball world over the past two years. He was named National Player of the Year in two consecutive seasons. However, his suitability for the NBA as an old-fashioned big who couldn't shoot was questioned. The Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 9th pick because they like to use that type of center in their starting lineup. It will be very interesting to see him play with NBA spacing and see how he fits in. Especially when he has to cover bigs who can play on the perimeter. Still, he's a player to watch in summer league to see if he can be as dominant at the NBA level as he was in college.

7. DaRon Holmes II, Denver Nuggets

DaRon Holmes II was selected 22nd by the Nuggets, who got him in exchange for a higher pick. Holmes was one of the risers in the draft and the guy the Nuggets wanted. He is the perfect big player that teams want in this era of the NBA. Holmes can shoot from the three-point line, which not many big players in this draft have. He can also score from the post and is also a good ball handler for his size. And to top it all off, he has shown signs of being a reliable playmaker for a big player in the NBA. He is a guy to keep an eye on in summer league and could be the steal of this year's draft.

8. Kyle Filipowski, Utah Jazz

Kyle Filipowski returned to Duke last year to improve his game, which he did. He became a better shooter and defender. This year, just like last year, he was traded as a lottery pick and fell in the second round to the Utah Jazz. Filipowski, like Holmes, fits this era of basketball more as a big. He can shoot from the three-point line, score from close range, and is a capable ball handler. However, part of the reason for his decline was that some teams didn't know if he would play best at the four or the five. Still, he's a player to keep an eye on, as he will try to show teams they were wrong to pass on him.

9.Bronny James, Los Angeles Lakers

Bronny James is the second second-round pick on this list. As a second-round pick, he is the son of LeBron James and is the most hyped. After suffering a cardiac arrest last summer, he didn't exactly have the best freshman season at USC, averaging only 4.8 points per game. He decided to enter the draft anyway and was ultimately selected 55th by the Lakers. Whether people think he deserves to be in the NBA or they think he's only there because of his father, Bronny needs to prove the doubters wrong and prove he can be a good NBA player by putting in a strong performance in summer league.

10. Jack Gohlke, Oklahoma City Thunder

The last person on the list is Jack Gohlke, who went undrafted. Gohlke signed with the Thunder to play for their summer league team. He was the standout player of March Madness last year after scoring 32 points, with every shot coming from the three-point line. In college, he only shot threes, as only eight of his field goal attempts last year were not from the three-point line. However, if Gohlke wants to have a chance to make the NBA, he will have to be more than just a three-point shooter. Gohlke will be a player to keep an eye on to see if he can stand out like he did in March Madness, as he tries to make the NBA.